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Fun Season of GBM Open Water Swimming

(NOTE: we'll be filling in with more events, stay tuned!)

Its been a full summer of fun open water swim events. There have been ample opportunities to prepare for open water competition with swim groups at Wallis Sands Beach on Wednesday nights at 6:00 p.m., Jenness Beach on Saturday and Sunday mornings at 8:00 a.m., and occasional groups swimming at Kingston Pond. Ocean temperature has been, for the most part, COLD! There were a few brief respites with warmer water, notably toward the end of August.

GBM's competed in a host of open water events this summer. The season started in grand fashion with a large group of GBM's at the One Mile 'Lost Sailor' event at Lake Gardner, Amesbury Mass on May 25. Almost everyone wore a wetsuit for this event, though the water was reasonably warm. Complete race information and results here. Notably, GBM took five of the top six spots with Travis, Guy and Kevin finishing first, second and third overall, and Kirsten topping the women's category. Great event, looking forward to next year!

The 26th annual Mashpee Super Swim was held June 21. There was new race management this year, and the old 1/2 mile triangular course was replaced with a rectangular one-mile loop. This strung out the field a lot more, making for considerably less passing and bumping. The race was run like clock-work, starting exactly on time, and with awards presented promptly afterward. It was a beautiful day. Water temperature was comfortable for a no-wetsuit swim. Race information here.

On July 22 Bob Fernald conquered the English Channel in 10 hours and 50 minutes! We've seen Bob diligently prepare for this event with long training sessions, and no-wetsuit ocean training swims while the rest of us were shivering *IN* our wetsuits. This is a fantastic accomplishment, congratulations Bob!! Read full story here.

The FINA Masters 3000 Meter Open Water championship was held on August 10 in Montreal. The swim was in the 1976 olympic rowing basin. Fresh water swim, no wet suits allowed. Straight down, jog across, straight back. Sounds easy but with ony two orange buoys to mark the turns at 1500 meters and tiny little buoys marking the rowing lanes, swimming a straight course was trickier than imagined. Top GBM finishers were Guy, placing 5th in the 55-59 men, and Kirsten finishing fourth in the 45-49 women. Complete results here.

The Mighty Merrimack Swim was held August 31, with one and two mile distances. All five GBM's swam the two mile. Water temperature was about 71F, and it was a beautiful day. Swim up river hugging the shoreline, turn around at the large orange buoy near the bridge and head back. The current is barely noticeable while swimming, but the up-river leg takes a bit longer. Water was clean and pleasant. All five GBM's received awards, with Guy and Ed finishing second and third overall. An enjoyable, well-run event recommended for next year. Event information: here.

On September 1 a good sized group swam the annual Labor Day sunrise swim of Jenness Beach. This swim starts at the Beach Club and goes to Straw's Point and back (the reverse of the Saturday and Sunday 8:00 a.m. Jenness training swims). Saw a good number of GBM's who've been dormant for a while, including Darren, Whitney, Brett, and Mike B. (a core member of the Portsmouth group dating back to Greig C.'s stewardship of the program there).

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